Posted: October 3, 2010 in Life
Tags: ,

It’s just a cat. Damn, why does it matter that much?

It was Pappy’s cat. And Grandma’s before that. She’s been gone since 2003, and Pappy died just last year. So this was like the last thread I had. What other connection do I have?

Something was wrong a month or two ago, and we had him checked out; but Rimmer seemed much better recently. And for a couple of months since. But this morning, he took a real dive. Every horrible symptom of every horrible disease came to the fore this morning. Lethargy, weakness and the most pitiful cry you ever heard. It was a recurrence of an illness that he’d recovered from before. I gave him some antibiotic that he’d been prescribed from his last bout.

It was Oktoberfest today. An inconvenient time for a sick animal. Last time he got sick, it was on a Saturday, so the vet charged a premium. I knew that he would either get better, in which case a vet trip was a waste, or he wouldn’t, in which case the vet couldn’t help anyway.

Pappy had a great time when we took him to Oktoberfest back in 2008. It was a highlight of his last couple of years in this life. I’ve been proud of how much he was able to enjoy it, despite his infirmity. He had joy. We saluted him as we sang and danced. Was this date some sort of serendipity?

When we got home from Oktoberfest tonight the cat was in such bad shape that I could only give him comfort, holding him and stroking his ears like he likes. Trying to make him purr. I got him to wag his tale a bit, but he was quite out of it. I imagine he was waiting for us to come home so he could say goodbye. On the day of Oktoberfest, when Pappy had his last great joy.

He died in my arms. He died in my arms. And while he did, I said another tear-soaked goodbye to my grandparents, who had taken him in and gave him a home long before I did. And I hope that if my grandparents could see us now, that they’d be okay with how we’ve honored them.

I regret that we weren’t home all day to comfort him, but we were holding out for him to recover. I’m relieved that we got the chance to say goodbye before he passed, got to hold him and pet him and comfort him in his final moments. I’m comfortable knowing he didn’t suffer until the end. And I think he was able to slip into death, quietly and easily, the way we all hope to. Damn, it’s hard, though.

There’s a little mound in my backyard now. There’s a cat buried there that was loved by some ancestors of mine that I’m most fond of. How long will these emotions be this strong? Will I experience another pang of sorrow when I sell this land and move away? Do I carry that sorrow with me, or does part of it stay behind?

Lister is going to be so lonely now, and he’s pretty old himself. I’m not looking fondly to the day I have to deal with the loss of that little buddy. Lister’s been with me since 1999, when he was just a kitten. What will I do? How do I cope with that? How did I end up with such a strong tie to a cat?

It’s just a cat. Damn, why does it matter that much?

Goodbye, Rimmer. You will be missed, and in missing you I will honor my Pappy and Grandma.


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